Priceless

Posted: May 30, 2014 in Uncategorized

A well-known speaker started off his seminar holding up a $20.00 bill. In the room of 200, he asked, “Who would like this $20 bill?” Hands started going up. He said, “I am going to give this $20 to one of you but first, let me do this.”

He proceeded to crumple up the $20 dollar bill. He then asked, “Who still wants it…?” Still the hands were up in the air. ‘Well,” he replied, “What if I do this?” And he dropped it on the ground and started to grind it into the floor with his shoe. He picked it up, now crumpled and dirty. “Now, who still wants it?” Still the hands went into the air.

“My friends, we have all learned a very valuable lesson. No matter what I did to the money, you still wanted it because it did not decrease in value. It was still worth $20. Many times in our lives, we are dropped, crumpled, and ground into the dirt by the decisions we make and the circumstances that come our way. We may feel as though we are worthless. But no matter what has happened or what will happen, you will never lose your value.

Dirty or clean, crumpled or finely creased, you are still priceless to God who LOVES you. The worth of our lives comes not in what we do or what people we know, but by GOD’S GREAT LOVE FOR US!.

You are dearly loved by God. You are special-Don’t EVER forget it. No matter what you’ve been through, nothing can change God’s love for you.

Romans 8:37-39,

“But no matter what comes, we will always taste victory through Him who loved us. For I have every confidence that nothing – not death, life, heavenly messengers, dark spirits, the present, the future, spiritual powers, height, depth, nor any created thing – can come between us and the love of God revealed in the Anointed, Jesus our Lord”

Making Right Decicions

Posted: May 21, 2014 in Uncategorized

Right Decisions

A young man was appointed to the presidency of a bank at the tender age of thirty-two. The promotion was far beyond his wildest dreams and very frightening to him, so he went to the venerable old chairman of the board to ask for advice on how to become a good bank president.

“What is the most important thing for me to do as a new president?” he asked the older man.

“Make right decisions,” was the gentleman’s terse answer.

The young man thought about that for a moment and said, “Thank you very much; that is very helpful. But can you be a bit more specific? How do I make right decisions?”

The wise old man answered, “Experience.”

Exasperated, the young president said, “But sir, that is why I’m here. I don’t have the experience I need to make right decisions. How do I get experience?”

“Wrong decisions,” came the old man’s reply.

Life is filled with decisions. Which socks to wear? Should the shirt button from the top down or from the bottom up? Which lane to drive in? Most of these decisions are made out of habit. On the other hand, there are some decisions that you spend time thinking about. What sounds good for lunch? Which voicemail needs to be answered first? Can the haircut wait until next week?

 

These decisions may seem small and insignificant, but woven together, they form the tapestry of our daily lives. Then there are life-altering decisions that cause you to struggle. Which career path is most in line with your unique skill-set and calling? Should you marry or remain single? Which church will allow you the best opportunity to grow and minister to others? These are often hard choices that deserve a great amount of thought.

Often the same decision-making process we use for minor issues is used for major
decisions as well. So the question is: How do we choose wisely? What criteria do we use to evaluate, to discern the best course of action? Clearly, gathering information and carefully analyzing our options is essential. Beyond that we need wisdom and clarity of thought: in order to make prudent decisions based upon the facts at hand and our understanding of God’s will.

Proverbs 3:5-6
Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
and do not lean on your own understanding.
In all your ways acknowledge him,
and he will make straight your paths.

In sum there are four steps:

1. I pray that God’s will be done in me and through me.

2. I try to meditate upon the Scriptures day and night, desiring to saturate my thinking with the structure of God’s thinking.

3. I consciously pin my hope on the promise of God to work in everything for my good, so that in my mind and heart are at rest in His mercy.

4. As I confront moral choices during the day, if time and circumstances allow, I try to understand the effects of each choice on people’s lives.

Pray this helps.

Make Me Like Joe

Posted: February 4, 2014 in Uncategorized

A drunk was miraculously converted at a Bowery mission. Prior to his conversion, Joe had gained a reputation of being a dirty wino for whom there was no hope, only a miserable existence in the ghetto. But following his conversion to a new life with God, everything changed. Joe became the most caring person that anyone associated with the mission had ever known. Joe spent his days and nights hanging out at the mission doing whatever needed to be done. There was never any task that was too lowly for Joe to take on. There was never anything that he was asked to do that he considered beneath him. Whether it was cleaning up the vomit left by some violently sick alcoholic or scrubbing the toilets after careless men left the bathroom filthy.  Joe did what was asked with a smile on his face and seeming gratitude for the chance to help. He could be counted on to feed the feeble men who wandered into the mission off the street, and to undress and tuck into bed men who were too out of it to take care of themselves.

One evening, when the director of the mission was delivering his evangelistic message to the usual crowd something unusual happened. One man looked up and came down the aisle to the alter and knelt to pray, crying out for God to help him to change. The drunk man kept shouting “Oh God make me like Joe! Make me like Joe! Make me like Joe!” The director of the mission leaned over to me man and said,”Son, I think it would be better if you prayed,’Make me like Jesus!'” The man looked up at the director and asked is “He like Joe”

(From Everything You’ve Heard is Wrong by Tony Campolo, Dallas:Word, 1992, pg.73)

I once heard someone say “You may be the only Jesus a person ever sees”. When people look at your life what do they see?  Do they see an accurate reflection of Jesus. Are we demonstrating a Living God in a dying world? We need the power of God to change and transform our lives. God is not using our tolerance of sin but our transformation to Him to bring His love to the world. When will we be the kind of believer that makes others say ” make me like Joe”.

homeless

The point of it all

Posted: May 1, 2012 in Uncategorized

What is the point of it all? Have you ever asked yourself this.
What is it all about? My success, my failures.
My joy and my pain. My wealth and hard work.
My education and my family. The way I spend my time. What is the point of everything I go through? What is it for?
I ask myself this all the time. Whenever I am going through something, I wonder is there a point or a reason for all this. Lately it seems like I’ve asked God this quite often. I can’t get past it.
It’s usually when you are continually faced with challenges that this question arises. There are always more questions then answers. The final question usually become what does God want from me. Have you ever just yelled out ” Ok God, what do you want from me?”. Maybe you haven’t.
Maybe you’re just frustrated with your situation and are keeping quiet about it. Keeping it all inside and letting your frustration fester. Well that’s not good. That’s just a time bomb waiting to erupt.
The people of Israel are in this place. God brings them out of Egypt and into the desert. Here they start complaining about what God is doing and how they don’t like it. They start complaining to Moses about what does God want from them. What is the point of all this?
In Deuteronomy chapter 10 Moses gives them the answer.

“Now, Israel, what does the LORD your God require from you, but to fear the LORD your God, to walk in all His ways and love Him, and to serve the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul, and to keep the LORD’S commandments and His statutes which I am commanding you today for your good? (Verses 12,13

Here Moses gives a summary that is simple in form and easy to remember. Here are the essentials: (1) Fear God; (2) Live in a way that pleases him; (3) Love him; (4) Serve him with all your heart and soul; and (5) Obey his commands. Too often we complicate faith with man-made rules, regulations, and requirements. Are you frustrated and burned out from trying hard to please God?
Concentrate on his real requirements and find peace.
Respect,
follow,
love,
serve,
and obey.
When you do this you will understand that the point of it all is for Gods glory.

Yesterday

Posted: February 15, 2012 in Uncategorized

Yesterday was a rough day.
Not one of those overwhelmed by work type of days, or get up of the wrong side of the bed days. This was a kick your butt at every turn bad day. It was the day that when it’s over you’re glad it’s over.
You know what I’m talking about. It just goes from bad to worse to OMG help!!!
And the worst part is that people try to encourage you through it.
Come on people, you’ve been there before. Friends, family, coworkers trying to lift your spirits and all you want to do is freak out.
Yup, one of those days.
But you know what, as bad as yesterday was today is a new day.
Start over, forget the past and keep on living.
I thank God for second chances, and third..and fourth…and, well you get the point.
I still have to deal with some of the problems from yesterday, but what a difference a day makes. The urgent makes way for the important. Cooler heads prevail. God teaches patients.
Although yesterday I did freak out on God. I wasn’t proud of myself.
Said things I shouldn’t have. I regret it. I over reacted and blamed God.
Told Him I was forgotten, forsaken, abandoned, He didn’t love me and He should just strike me down. Like I said, I wasn’t proud of myself.
I don’t know if you’ve ever had a melt down like that and then throw God under the bus.
When I calmed down and decided to talk to God, He didn’t know what I was talking about.
He had no remembrance, forgot all about it. Which is strange cause I didn’t.
I felt crappy, He was fine.
I felt distant, He was as close as ever.
I felt bad, He loved me.
As a matter of fact, through it all, the struggles, the melt down, the failure, God was fine. He never freaked out, or was worried, or nervous. Jesus had it all under control. I freaked because I didn’t.
But I don’t have to have it all under control or even be in control. As a matter of fact the more I let go and give God control the better things are.
Yeah glad todays a new day. And yup I’m giving up control. Handing it over to my God. He doesn’t freak out or get scared. He’s got it covered. He never left me, never forgot me, never let me go. You know what? He hasn’t forgotten you either.
Just give Him control, Jesus got you covered.

Because of the Lord’s faithful love
we do not perish,
for His mercies never end.
They are new every morning;
great is Your faithfulness! (Lamentations 3:22, 23 HCSB)

Thinking out loud.

Posted: February 7, 2012 in Uncategorized

I know I’ve been writing about the prodigal but I wanted to just throw another thought out there. I’m pretty sure you guys watched the Super Bowl. If you didn’t at least you know the Giants won. Before you get excited I’m not a Giants fan, and for my friends I didn’t cross over.
I’m still a Cowboys fan. Tried and true since 1977.
And there I dated myself. Ouch that hurt.
Ok focus…see you guys got me on a tangent. Anyway I wanted to talk about my son.
He was rooting for the Patriots. He likes them because his pop-warner team is the Patriots. He was rooting for them because he felt connected.
He rooted for them because they were his team.
Literally. He plays for the Patriots so, he roots for the Patriots.
Amazing isn’t it we root because we feel connected to the team.
Fans, short for fanatics. Boy, we can get crazy for our teams.
Today was the parade in New York. He was upset. Still blaming the Welker drop as the turning point.
Told me he would have made that throw. He said a good QB would have put it in the receivers sweet spot.
He likes the team because he is a participator. That’s my thought. Participators care more.
Why? Because they know the effort it takes to get there.
No he’s not a Super Bowl champ, but we both know the hard work it takes to play the game.
I played in college, my son plays. Losing hurts.
Winning feels great.
That’s life.
See in life we are all participators.
We should all care about winning and losing.
We should be part of a team. A winning team. For me church has become that team.
And when God is first, you win. Yet not everyone wins. It’s sad.
You can win, yet choose to lose. We pick the losing team.
Why? Who would want that?
Why lose when you can win?
Choose God. Join me on the winning side. Let’s participate together and celebrate an awesome win.

I will get up and go to my father, and will say to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven, and in your sight; I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me as one of your hired men.”‘ (Luke 15:18, 19 NASB)
I once read that for every homecoming there was first a home leaving.
The bible says we all like sheep have gone astray. That means each of us have left home, that place that God has for us,
and have gone to a place led by our own desires.
All of us are prodigals.
We want God to give us things, then take what He gives us and go.
We get what we want, waste it, and when we are empty we come back to start over again. Until we leave.
Why? Why do we leave?
Just like the son in the story we have an alternative motive.
We have our plans.
Our agendas…
Our desires…until.
Until it’s all gone and we are down and out.
The problem is our situations change but not our hearts.
Being an urban minister I have learned one important lesson. You can run all the programs you want, pour as much money into education, food pantries, youth departments, and outreach, but people don’t change because you spend a lot on programs. People change because of the heart.
Yes, you got it. To change a man you need to change his heart.
How do you change your heart?
Change your attitude. Stop saying ” give me” and start asking God to “make me”
Say it with me: Father make me.
Again
Father make me. Let it sink in.
Make me your servant.
Make my heart new
Make Father, just like you.
It is time to come home to the Father. He is waiting just for you.